These Photos Prove That the Middle East Is the Place to Go for Stargazing

Dubai Desert
Photo: Daniele Cagnazzo

Those of us who live in cities can easily forget that we see only a small percentage of the stars in the night's sky. These extraordinary images taken by photographer Daniele Cagnazzo remind us of what can be seen in the absence of light pollution, a term used by the International Dark Sky Association to describe the excessive use of artificial light. “The Middle East is a magical place,” Cagnazzo said. “Empty and endless spaces surrounded by the silence of the night.” His photos transport us to those remote places and give us, in his words, “an occasion to admire the beauty of nature with a different dress.”

01 of 06

Wadi Al Arbeieen, Oman

Wadi Al Arbeieen
Daniele Cagnazzo

The Milky Way lights the sky, mountains, and water of the wadi, creating a dramatic nighttime photo. “Oman is a wonderful land, full of green and water,” Cagnazzo said.

02 of 06

Jabal Jais, United Arab Emirates

Jabal Jais
Daniele Cagnazzo

This mountain on the border between Oman and the UAE provided the perfect background for the colorful tents. “The moonlight and melodic sound of the mandolin made the atmosphere unique,” said Cagnazzo.

03 of 06

Petra, Jordan

Petra Jordan
Daniele Cagnazzo

This famous archaeological site with its carved pink sandstone cliffs dates to around 300 BC. “Walking through thousands of years, through big rocks with lights placed on the path, looked like a dream.”

04 of 06

Al Qua Desert, United Arab Emirates

Al Qua Desert
Daniele Cagnazzo

Cagnazzo photographed this abandoned mosque on an August night in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with the Milky Way glowing in the sky overhead.

05 of 06

Masafi, United Arab Emirates

Daniele Cagnazzo

The glow from the campfire along with the starry sky created lights and shadows beautifully detailing the mountain’s profile and the rocky ground.

06 of 06

Dubai Desert, United Arab Emirates

Dubai Desert
Daniele Cagnazzo

This dramatic photo of wind-blown sand and the Milky Way was taken in spring. During April and May, Cagnazzo tells us, “The sky is so clear that is seems the stars are very close to you.”

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